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  • Rebelling

    Weekend of Rebellion

    After Pride over the Bank Holiday weekend, this last one was more focused on Anger. Are we working our way through the seven sins? Next week, maybe I’ll just stay in bed for Saturday and Sunday. A big feast the one after.

    I can’t wait for Lust to turn up.

    Extinction Rebellion was in town from Friday to today, closing a section of Deansgate to traffic, and making it civilised. I visited, and took photos, on Friday and Saturday. It actually upset me, in a strange way, because it reminded me of the Reclaim The Streets demos I participated in in the 90s. We didn’t see the change we called for then until fairly recently, and then only slow and flawed. We don’t have two decades to wait for things to get done about climate change.

    Also on Friday was August’s Critical Mass. But I’d walked in, so I just took some photos.

    Saturday saw my second visit to Extinction Rebellion, and the Stop The Coup demo, which started out in Cathedral Gardens, and made its way to Albert Square, despite starting in very heavy rain.

    Then it was down to Platt Fields for something not angry- the Festival of Manchester. I got some nice photos, then there was more heavy rain, so I abandoned it early.

    It’s going to be a busy Autumn, and I’ll try to get to as many of these demos as possible, getting photos and video when I do.


  • Do you really want to be trapped on an island with these people?

    So, we’re halfway into the second week of what’s going to be a tedious and depressing EU referendum campaign. I wouldn’t be surprised if half the country has already become bored and irritated by it all.

    I’ll come straight out and say that I’ll be voting to stay in. There’s a lot wrong with the EU, and the only way to fix the problems is by staying in and arguing more effectively for reform*. Also, it’s naive to think we won’t be affected by EU policies if we leave. We’ll still have to meet the standards they set if we want to trade with them, and there’ll be a load of new restrictions on travelling, living and working on the continent.

    My stance puts me in the unsavoury position of being on the same side as David Cameron, George Osborne and Tony Blair. I’ll live with that. Not least because of the incredibly low quality of so many of the Brexit supporters. A short list, off the top of my head-

    Nigel Farage A caricature of the worst stereotypes of England made flesh. The only good thing I can say about Farage is that, whichever way the vote goes, he’s going to be even more irrelevant after June.

    Boris Johnson A man who plays the buffoon in the hope that we’ll not notice all his cheap political game playing. And the fact that he is a bit of an incompetent. It’s hard to take seriously any claims that Boris’ stance is for anything other than the chance to be leader of the Tory party and possibly PM.

    Michael Gove Gormless, useless little man, who has only got as far as he has by taking advantage of the friendship he has now betrayed with the Prime Minister.

    Iain Duncan-Smith Let’s face it, Duncan-Smith wants out of Europe to save his own skin. He’s scared that a European court might one day hold him to account for introducing policies that have driven thousands of the most vulnerable to early deaths and pushed people to suicide.

    Nigel Lawson Walnut faced former Chancellor who now makes millions of pounds conjuring up weak arguments for gullible climate change deniers to keep spouting, thus slowing down progress on fixing the greatest imminent threat to everyone’s way of life.

    John Redwood Supposedly hyper-intelligent former minister, who was once known as the Vulcan, but now looks more like Dobby the house elf. Redwood’s highly intelligent and deeply considered opinion on matters of climate change and energy policy somehow always sounds like the sort of thing Nigel Lawson’s group has dreamt up for gullible climate change deniers to repeat endlessly.

    David Icke Really. David Icke supporting something is the equivalent of having it stamped “100% guaranteed bullshit”.

    These are the people who will be running this country if the referendum results in us leaving (well, apart from Icke, he’ll probably say something incoherent about lizards, then disappear back to wherever it is he hides). They are scum, and they’ll be even harder to escape from, because they’ll trash your chances of going to live and work in Europe.

    A vote to stay could be the first part of a double whammy. First, do serious damage to the careers of the would-be leavers by rejecting their campaign. This will have a knock-on effect of destabilising, maybe even splitting, the Conservative party**, offering an opportunity for more sensible parties to sweep in and kick them out at the next election.

    It might not happen, but I’m an optimist.

    *And kicking out all the UKIP MEPs. Really, is there anything less useful than a UKIP MEP? They’ve been elected to something they want the country to leave, and their constant refrain is how terrible the EU is for Britain. They could use their positions to fix those problems, and make things better for thr UK. But then, that would show that the EU is capable of doing good things for Britain, making the case for staying in. So UKIP MEPs must just sit on their hands and make things worse, because it’s the only way they can achieve what they want. They’re actively making things worse for us, under the pretence that they’re working to make things, somehow, better.

    **Actually, either result could have this effect. But In is the best for the majority of us.


  • Well, Boris, it would seem you just failed the intelligence test | Andrew Rawnsley | Comment is free | The Observer

    I don’t know whether the mayor of London is familiar with Huxley’s novel. He might like one of its conceits: to sustain the placidity of the population, recreational and promiscuous sex is strongly encouraged by the state. I am sure he would protest that this was not his intention, but the vision of society that he promotes is not entirely remote from Huxley’s chilling dystopia. The mayor, who presumably regards himself as an Alpha Plus, is effectively telling the person who cleans his office, whom he dismisses as an Epsilon Minus, that their unequal fates are preordained at birth.

    “Why on earth enter this territory?” asks one close ally of David Cameron. “Anything that has the whiff of eugenics is just not smart. A lot of people read that and thought, ‘Oh, fuck, Boris. Do you really want to say that?'”

    Well, Boris, it would seem you just failed the intelligence test | Andrew Rawnsley | Comment is free | The Observer.